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First steps
Darkness was taking over the forest of Losiny Ostrov. Although the sun hadn't set yet the dense canopy made it darker then it was. After months of travelling by night and resting by day he got used to walking in the dark. He thought the years in dark isolation would have given him a trauma... but nothing was further from the truth. It was at night he got the consolation of the moon. The only thing that kept him going, the light in the darkness. He got up and listened to the forest preparing for nighttime. It's funny how the night sounds different in each region of the world He thought, not hearing any crickets or jackals, the sounds he had gotten used to in northern africa. Here it sounds like a silent assassin, almost as if something is creeping up on me.

He checked his knapsack and took the Amulet Baba Yaga had given him out. "If only i knew how to use it... i feel them chasing me" He thought again, like every night about the men that had taken his moon. All of them had had the strange tattoo on their forearms If only i knew who they were.

Before entering the forest he had asked around about it in the surrounding villages. For centuries the forest had been a forbidden area. Only the tsars were allowed there, Rasputin had shown a lot of interest and was allegedly banished from the court after visiting the heart of Losiny Ostrov. He even heard whispers of Hitler showing interest and Stalin wanting to know everything about the forest. And even though most of the forest had been open to the public since mid last century, the heart of the forest kept being closed to the public.

He was getting closer, he just knew it. He petted Calamorro, got on his back. And he felt he was getting closer. If only I could make the amulet work... He thought once again while his paranoia seemed to get a grip on him.

Edited by Panteni, Feb 4 2014, 03:44 AM.
The forest of the tsars. It called to Dane. Originally a hunting ground, then parceled up by bygone nobility. The hands of the Russian blood carved a chunk of the earth like flesh from an arm. The corporations started chiseling next. They clawed at the edges of the great forest, and tree by tree, tore out firs, oak and redwood until the government itself stepped in and declared the land holy. A national park. As soon as Dane learned the story, he heard its song. A deep melody that stretched back in time as old as the land itself. He didn't give a flying fuck about history, but the beauty in untainted ferality was something he recognized. It was in him also.

He'd been part of an afternoon tour by horseback. Normal people took tours. As a self-proclaimed tourist, Dane was within reason to sign up. A fat Indian man had been his "buddy" for the ride. The cow could barely scramble into the saddle, but Dane was kind enough to show him a trick for how to use his own momentum to his advantage. Then he spent the next twenty minutes picturing the blubber of fat leaking from the stab wounds in his gullet.

Their group made it to some ridiculous monument in the trees, but Dane did not hear a word of its significance. His mind was busy buzzing with all the ways he might slaughter each and every man here and never be tracked for it. At one point the call of the power sizzled at his fingertips, but he did not give in. He had another reason to play the nice foreigner. He bid his time.

He and the fat Indian rode last in the line, side by side back to the carriage house. The bastard could hardly conceive that the Custody's greatest nightmare rode solemnly alongside. Air, solid like a bag of bricks, slammed to the back of the man's head. His horse reared and threw him from the saddle. Dane's spooked and sprinted off. The noise drew the attention of the others ahead, but by the time the guide galloped back, the gluttonous fucker was bleeding out in the snow and Dane's animal was no where in sight.

He was, of course, an excellent horseman. His animal reared because Dane tugged on the bridle just so, not because the beast sensed something otherworldly around them. Into the wind and snow he rode. They might have followed the prints but for the back-tracking across already trod paths. By nightfall, Dane was well and gone. Good for him that he'd given a false Custody Identification Number when signing up. Otherwise, he might make headlines, and the only title he was interested in splashing on the news was his favored moniker: Mockingbird.

He put his Wallet to good use, and calculated the directions and time it would take to reach the fabled heart of darkness itself: Losiny Ostrov. Whatever was at the center of this maelstrom of snow, branches and wildlife, it drew the attention of Rasputin himself. And anything of interest to the great legend like Rasputin was at least worth a mild curiosity to the Mockingbird.

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